Master of Urban and Cultural Heritage

Course MC-UCH (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 082253M
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Professor Kate Darian-Smith


Environments and Design Student Centre
Ground Floor, Baldwin Spencer (building 113)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Course Overview:

This unique cross-disciplinary and industry oriented program is open to graduates who are passionate about the social and cultural dimensions of the built environment in the 21st century. It introduces students to the integrated skills and knowledge required to contribute to the burgeoning fields of urban and cultural heritage, and is suitable for students from a range of academic backgrounds and cultures.

The interpretation, management and conservation of urban and cultural heritage is increasingly a matter of urgency and significance for global cities and communities.

Challenges for heritage professionals include the pressures of rapid urbanization; issues of economic and environmental sustainability; and social change. Taking an international perspective on the heritage of buildings, cities and landscapes, the program will explore key heritage issues from around the world, with a particular focus on Australia and the Asia- Pacific region.

The core subjects in the Master of Urban and Cultural Heritage examine contemporary and theoretical approaches to heritage policy, regulation and practice; new approaches to digital technologies and heritage; issues of heritage significance within historical and cross-cultural contexts; cultural heritage and its social and economic impacts, including tourism; and heritage reconstruction. Students will gain critical research and presentation skills in the analysis, documentation and management of heritage sites, landscapes and tangible and intangible cultural practices. Students also study a range of specialist electives, with the option to undertake a research project or industry internship.

Key Features of the program include the examination of:

  • Heritage in a global context, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific
  • Heritage and Digital Technologies
  • Heritage, Natural Disasters and Reconstruction
  • Urban and Landscape Heritage
  • Heritage Interiors and Moveable Heritage
  • Property, Construction and Heritage
  • Cultural and Historical Heritage Significance
  • Indigenous Cultural Heritage Urban and cultural heritage is central to global cities in the 21st century.

The program in unique in its approach, which includes:

  • Cross-disciplinary and integrated approaches to heritage
  • Professional skills development in heritage design, research, theory and presentation
  • Industry Partners involved in Specialist Teaching
  • Capacity for Research and Design components
  • Heritage Internship available
  • Flexible course structure, with multiple pathways

The Specialist Certificate in Urban and Cultural Heritage and Graduate Certificate in Urban and Cultural Heritage are available as exit awards for the Master of Urban and Cultural Heritage.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Theoretical and applied knowledge in the core issues, histories and methodologies of urban and cultural heritage;
  • Understandings of the range of methodological approaches to urban and cultural heritage across academic disciplines and within professional practice;
  • Critical engagement with international contemporary practice in urban and cultural heritage as this relates to built environments and the social, cultural, and regulatory economic dimensions of heritage;
  • Ability to interpret and analyses complex cross-disciplinary materials relating to heritage in order to develop sustainable and effective strategies to the challenges of heritage within the built and social fabric;
  • Understanding of the conceptual and theoretical frameworks that guide urban and cultural heritage practice at national and international levels, and how these may be applied in particular contexts and locations;
  • Knowledge of the complexity of heritage management, with particular reference to cross-cultural issues;
  • Ability to communicate effectively within cross-disciplinary teams, and to take a holistic approach to urban and cultural heritage in the communication of heritage strategies and applications;
  • Capacity to respond with initiative and to build upon key frameworks in relation to new situations and challenges in urban and cultural heritage;
  • Ability to respond to the challenges posed by urban and cultural heritage through a cross-disciplinary framework that enables students to execute a substantial research and/or design project.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Students must complete:

  • 50 points of core subjects;
  • 50 points from one of three pathways, including electives as specified below.

Completion of the Research Pathway provides students with the necessary research preparation for doctoral study.

Note that elective selection in each pathway is to be determined in collaboration with the program coordinator.

Subject Options:

Core Subjects

Students must complete:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Specialisation Pathway

Students taking the Specialisation Pathway must complete 50 points of core subjects plus:

  • 3 x 12.5 point elective subjects (see elective lists below); and MSD Research Project Short (12.5 points) which will be conducted in either the History / Theory Criticism or Practice and Technology specialisation areas.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
January, Semester 1, Semester 2

Research Pathway

Students taking the Research Pathway must complete 50 points of core subjects plus:

  • 2 x 12.5 point electives (see elective lists below); and
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Internship Pathway

Students taking the Internship Pathway must complete 50 points of core subjects plus:

  • 2 x 12.5 point electives (see elective lists below); and

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Elective Stream 1: History / Theory Criticism

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2015

Elective Steam 2: Practice and Technology

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:

  • either

—a cognate masters coursework degree with a weighted average mark of at least H3 (65%), or
—a cognate four-year undergraduate degree (with honours), or
—a three-year cognate undergraduate degree with a weighted average mark of at least H3 (65%) and two years of documented relevant professional experience.

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:

  • prior academic performance; and, if relevant
  • the professional experience.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Student Application and Selection Procedure.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for postgraduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 6.5 is required.

Additional notes

Cognate areas include architecture, history, art history, landscape architecture, policy studies, cultural studies, urban planning, interior design or equivalent.

For information about how to apply
click here.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:

Graduate Attributes:

Refer to University of Melbourne graduate attributes located at

Generic Skills:

The Master of Urban and Cultural Heritage has been specifically designed around the University of Melbourne postgraduate coursework graduate attributes and the preparation of students to work in a professional heritage setting. The course will incorporate research-led teaching, problem-based collaborative learning, cross-disciplinary approaches to heritage methodology and theoretical approaches, engagement with professional experts, and a diverse student cohort. Graduates of the Master of Urban and Cultural Heritage will have high-level intellectual, analytical and communication capabilities enabling them to demonstrate leadership, a commitment to life-long learning, and integrity in professional heritage practice.

Links to further information:

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